Medication errors are a problem in Texas and throughout our nation. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists can all be negligent when it comes to prescription errors, putting patients at risk for serious injury or death. While most people know that medication mistakes can occur at hospitals, many are not really aware that dosing and medication errors can take place at their local pharmacies.
According to Surescripts, 69 percent of U.S. physicians in 2012 used electronic prescriptions. Now that most doctors are e-prescribing and sending patients’ prescriptions to their pharmacies via the computer, consumers may be left with a false sense of safety. Many patients do not realize that mistakes can happen with electronic prescriptions.
Consumers are under the impression that because doctors aren’t giving out difficult-to-read prescriptions that they shouldn’t have to fear a medication error. The fact is, doctors are still under the same amount of pressure, working in fast-paced environments, which can lead to errors.
Additionally, pharmacists work in busy environments, are constantly getting interrupted, and are under constant pressure to get prescriptions filled quickly. Sometimes a pharmacist won’t catch that a doctor didn’t select the right drug or the correct dosage of drug. Because pharmacists work in such high-pressure environments they, too, can make mistakes.
Although electronic prescriptions are believed to cut down medication errors, it is certainly not a foolproof system. Many things can contribute to the wrong prescription, including:
- Human error
- Choosing the wrong drug from a list
- Selecting the wrong dosage from the drop-down menu
- Editing errors
- Design issues (e.g. too many drop-down menus in e-prescribing systems)
- Alert fatigue (drug alerts that overwhelm doctors continue to pop up and soon get ignored)
- Information technology problems
If you have suffered a pharmacy error that involved an electronic prescription, you need an experienced pharmacy malpractice attorney on your side to investigate the reason you received the wrong medication. To speak with a skilled lawyer in a free, no-obligation consultation, call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., at 888-526-7616. Also, make sure to request a copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.